ENGL 111 O: Composition: Literature

Meeting Time: 
TTh 12:30pm - 2:20pm
MEB 243

Syllabus Description:

Syllabus: English 111 O, Winter 2015


Instructor: Tesla Schaeffer

Email: schaeffe@uw.edu

Office: Padelford Hall B-417


Meeting Times: TTh 12:30- 2:20

Office Hours: TTh 2:30-3:30


Course Description

Welcome to English 111!


This course aims to provide you with a thorough, well-developed understanding of what it means to write effectively in an academic context. More than that, though, we begin to think about writing as a tool that opens up questions, generates provocative insight and propels important conversations in new directions. We will examine and unpack the way that text functions in many different arenas, including both academia and popular culture, and aim to develop the skills to participate confidently and thoughtfully in the rhetorical “conversations” that surround and comprise these topics. Throughout the course, we will be thinking about writing as a process that emerges first from inquiry. What motivates the author to write? What does s/he want us to do? How does the text function, and who is reading it? How does this text situate itself in, enforce or subvert the genre it occupies? In both writing and reading, a spirit of analytical scrutiny is fundamental to our project.


Alongside engaging closely with the issues raised in the short stories and articles we read, we will also be entering into a dialogue with each other; this course is necessarily interactive and self-reflective, meaning that we will approach our own writing and that of our peers with the same analytical frame of mind. Writing is hard work, and no one enjoys it all the time- contrary to what some historical poets would have you believe, good writing seldom arises from divine intervention and is almost never easy. As such, drafting, revising and reflecting on our rhetorical choices will comprise a significant part of the class as well. Your assignments are shaped around this aim, providing you with ample opportunity to explore writing as a process rather than a verdict. Further, while no course can teach you absolutely everything you need to know to write successfully in college, developing the analytical and compositional skills required to articulate your thinking will benefit you in many of the writing and reading situations you encounter in the future, both inside and outside of school.





Required Materials

Contexts for Inquiry (course text)

“Mother Tongue” – Amy Tan (All stories are in Canvas -- Announcements)

“What You Pawn I Will Redeem” – Sherman Alexie

“Blankets”- Sherman Alexie

“Something That Needs Nothing”- Miranda July

“The Time Story” – Chimamanda Adichie

“Apollo” – Chimamanda Adichie



In this course, you will complete two major assignment sequences, each of which is designed to help you fulfill the course outcomes. Each assignment sequence requires you to complete a variety of shorter assignments leading up to a major paper. These shorter assignments will each target one or more of the course outcomes at a time, help you practice these outcomes, and allow you to build toward a major paper using feedback generated by your instructor, peer review sessions, and writing conferences. Toward the end of the course, having completed the two sequences, you will be asked to compile and submit a portfolio of your work along with a critical reflection. The portfolio will include the following: one of the two major papers, one to three of the shorter assignments, and a critical reflection that explains how the selected portfolio demonstrates the four outcomes for the course. In addition to the materials you select as the basis for your portfolio grade, your portfolio must include all of the sequence-related writing you were assigned in the course (both major papers and all the shorter assignments from both sequences). A portfolio that does not include all the above will be considered “Incomplete” and will earn a grade of 0.0- 0.9. The grade for complete portfolios will be based on the extent to which the pieces you select demonstrate the course outcomes. The portfolio will be worth 70% of your final grade.


Participation is worth 30% of your grade. It is of the highest importance that you come to class every day having done the homework, prepared to discuss your work and the work of others in class. This is not an easy 30%! Attendance is a factor in this part of your grade, and as you will see, active participation and involvement is the only way to develop the skills necessary to be successful in this class.


Please note that your participation grade will be penalized by 2% for each day a paper is late. Late papers will also not receive instructor feedback.


Complaints Clause

If you have any concerns about the course or your instructor, please see the instructor about these concerns as soon as possible. If you are not comfortable talking with the instructor or not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact the following Expository Writing Program staff in Padelford A-11: Director Candice Rai, (206) 543-2190 or crai@uw.edu or Assistant Directors AJ Burgin, aburgin@uw.edu; Jacki Fiscus, jfiscus@uw.edu; Denise Grollmus, grolld@uw.edu. If, after speaking with the Director or Assistant Directors of the EWP, you are still not satisfied with the response you receive, you may contact English Department Chair Brian Reed, (206) 543-2690.



If you need accommodation of any sort, please let me know so that I can work with the UW Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS) to provide what you require. This syllabus is available in large print, as are other class materials. More information about accommodation may be found at http://www.washington.edu/students/drs.



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 Winter Quarter 2016:  English 111 O



in-class activities


Tue 1/05


Syllabus & Introduction


Thur 1/07


Rhetorical Analysis

Read Tan




Tue 1/12

Rhetorical & Literary Analysis


SA1 Due

Read Alexie

Thur 1/14







Tue 1/19

Rhetorical & Literary Analysis


SA 2 Due

Read July

Thur 1/21

Claims, Evidence






Tue 1/26

Conferences- No class


MP1- Draft 1 Due

Thur 1/28

Developing a Line of Inquiry






Tue 2/02

Library Research Day


MP1- Draft 2 Due


Thur 2/04

Evaluating Source Material


Line of Inquiry for MP2 Due




Tue 2/09

In-class workshop: Pitching Proposals


Proposal Due

Thur 2/11







Tue 2/16

Peer Review: Online



MP2- Draft 1 Due

Thur 2/18







Tue 2/23

Portfolio Powerpoint: What to expect


MP2- Draft 2 Due

Thur 2/25

Building portfolios in class




wrap up second sequence


Tue 3/01

Revision strategies



Thur 3/03

Revision strategies






Tue 3/08




Thur 3/10









Final Portfolio Due: Monday 3/14


EWP Course Outcomes

  1. To demonstrate an awareness of the strategies that writers use in different writing contexts.
  • The writing employs style, tone, and conventions appropriate to the demands of a particular genre and situation.
  • The writer is able to demonstrate the ability to write for different audiences and contexts, both within and outside the university classroom.
  • The writing has a clear understanding of its audience, and various aspects of the writing (mode of inquiry, content, structure, appeals, tone, sentences, and word choice) address and are strategically pitched to that audience.
  • The writer articulates and assesses the effects of his or her writing choices.


  1. To read, analyze, and synthesize complex texts and incorporate multiple kinds of evidence purposefully in order to generate and support writing.
  • The writing demonstrates an understanding of the course texts as necessary for the purpose at hand.
  • Course texts are used in strategic, focused ways (for example: summarized, cited, applied, challenged, re-contextualized) to support the goals of the writing.
  • The writing is intertextual, meaning that a “conversation” between texts and ideas is created in support of the writer’s goals.
  • The writer is able to utilize multiple kinds of evidence gathered from various sources (primary and secondary – for example, library research, interviews, questionnaires, observations, cultural artifacts) in order to support writing goals.
  • The writing demonstrates responsible use of the MLA (or other appropriate) system of documenting sources.


  1. To produce complex, analytic, persuasive arguments that matter in academic contexts.
  • The argument is appropriately complex, based in a claim that emerges from and explores a line of inquiry.
  • The stakes of the argument, why what is being argued matters, are articulated and persuasive.
  • The argument involves analysis, which is the close scrutiny and examination of evidence and assumptions in support of a larger set of ideas.
  • The argument is persuasive, taking into consideration counterclaims and multiple points of view as it generates its own perspective and position.
  • The argument utilizes a clear organizational strategy and effective transitions that develop its line of inquiry.


  1. To develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing.
  • The writing demonstrates substantial and successful revision.
  • The writing responds to substantive issues raised by the instructor and peers.
  • Errors of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics are proofread and edited so as not to interfere with reading and understanding the writing.
Catalog Description: 
Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing stories, poems, essays, and plays. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
February 19, 2016 - 9:11am